You know what the famous Italian term dolce vita means? It’s living life at a pace that lets you enjoy its every hue, scent, and feeling. It’s taking the time for things that warm our hearts. Family, good food, ease. It’s the enjoyment of the Art of Life, and the Art of Life sometimes demands that you stop and gaze at it with enchanted eyes, and remember to take the time in the process.
Riccardo is an influential Italian author who owns a wonderful organic vegan bakery in Reggio Emilia and a dear friend of mine. The slight tang from sourdough, combined with the spicy sweetness of the cinnamon and lemon honey, is a meeting between two divine flavors. This is what Riccardo’s Dolce Vita feels like…
I developed a “fermented” version of a recipe that is traditionally made with baking powder, and it is a recipe that represents me in many ways: these pancakes represent me because they are made with whole, stone-milled flour, and they represent me because they also represents the fascination of cooking for others; of taking the time for a slow breakfast between friends…
Sourdough Vegan Cinnamon Pancakes with Lemon Topping
50 g / 1.7 oz sourdough starter, freshly fed
100 g / 3.5 oz organic whole-wheat flour
¾ cup / 170 ml water
1 tablespoon honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 scant teaspoon salt
Extra flavorings: pinch vanilla, grated zest of half a small lemon
Fat, your favorite, for cooking (vegetable or coconut oil, or ghee)
Lemon jam, maple syrup
Lemon Honey (see above for link)
- Dissolve the sourdough starter in a bowl with half the water, then add in all the other ingredients for the batter. Mix thoroughly, and add enough water until you get a smooth batter (I needed less than the water indicated in the recipe, you might need to adjust depending on the kind of flour you use).
- Cover the batter with cling film and pierce a hole in it to let some air in. Let the batter rest at room temperature for 8 to 10 hours, or overnight.
- When ready, heat a lightly greased nonstick pan on medium heat and add about ¼ cup (3 tablespoons) batter per pancake. Cook for a couple minutes, or until bubbles have formed on the surface. Flip, and cook until golden. Repeat until you run out of batter, greasing the pan after each batch.
- Serve straight off the pan with your favorite toppings. I topped it with Lemon Honey (you can make honey maple syrup for a fully vegan option). If available, lemon jam is also delicious.
Take a bite, and you’ll see how La Dolce Vita is well worth the wait.
Valentina is a 25-year-old Italian ex-graphic designer who, like many designers, got seduced by food photography. She runs Hortus Cuisine, a blog where she shares Italian, natural, vegetarian recipes from the Italian countryside. She loves green tea, hates cilantro, and considers handmade pasta a form of art. Follow along on Instagram @HortusCuisine.